New Newton North girls’ basketball coach Mo Hamel knows what she wants from the Tigers, who have gotten off to a fast start with wins over Milton on Friday and Weymouth on Tuesday.
“As much as you want people to buy in, you have to show people it’s worth buying in to,” said Hamel, following the Tigers’ 61-37 home victory. “I think they can kind of see my vision for the team.”
Senior point guard Sayawni Lassiter led the Tigers with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore guard Kelley Manly added 12 points.
“It was close through the first quarter, Weymouth is very scrappy,” said Hamel. “We went into the half up by 12 . . . Then we opened it up a little.”
Hamel has set the bar high for her team, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
“We have some goals in mind, some high defensive goals,” she said. “We didn’t really reach [those goals] tonight, and the girls know that.”
Despite the healthy 24-point margin of victory, Hamel wasn’t satisfied with her team’s defense. She urges her team to contest every shot, with no easy trips to the paint. The emphasis on defense has been especially strong early in the season, with a matchup against powerhouse Braintree on the horizon.
“It’s funny, we talked about how the next game is the most important game of our season,” said Hamel. “Not because it’s Braintree, but because it’s our next game.”
Hamel and company approach every game with the same attitude, one that was formed before the season’s initial tipoff.
“These girls are hungry to prove people wrong,” she said. “We weren’t ranked in a couple of the preseason polls . . . Nobody really gave us a second thought.”
The journey will continue for the Tigers on Thursday night in Braintree, with tipoff at 6:45. p.m.
“This is now the most important game of our season,” said Hamel. “If we execute, we’ll always have a chance.”
Bentonville (Ark.) 33, St. Mary’s 26 — Lauren Hargus led all scorers with 15 points to lift the Tigers (2-0) in Orlando, Fla.
South Shore Voc-Tech 44, Rising Tide Charter 30 — Cassidy Burt and Taylor McKinnon led the scoring for the Vikings with 15 points apiece.
Braintree 93, Brookline 39 — Jenna Roche paced the Wamps (2-0) with 23 points.
Greater Lowell 64, Shawsheen 57 — Sophomore Satta Krah scored 18 points with 20 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals for the Gryphons (2-1).
Wakefield 43, Reading 40 — Junior Alee Purcell tallied 15 points and 18 rebounds for the Warriors (2-0).
Norwood 54, Dedham 32 — Senior Meghan Reen led the scoring for the Mustangs (1-1) with 15 points.
Pope John 43, Matignon 34 — Sophomore twins Korine (12 points) and Katty Haidul (11 points, 14 rebounds) led the way for the Tigers (2-1). Freshmen Sarita Chen (11 points) and MacKenzie Curtis (11 rebounds) also had strong performances.
Westford 60, Wayland 34 — Junior guard Elizabeth Arnold had 15 points for the Grey Ghosts.
Essex Tech 50, Lynn Tech 17 — Sophomore Ali Vienna led the scoring for the Hawks (1-1) with 17 points and four steals. Sophomore Sydney Noyes chipped in with 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals.
Westport 64, Southeastern 15 — Eighth-grader Laura Mendell (18 points, 9 assists, 7 steals) and seventh-grader Laila Silver (15 points, 10 assists, 5 steals) paced the Wildcats.
Hanover 51, Hingham 43 — Seniors Megan Dixon (12 points), Meaghan Raab (11 points), and Hayley Wardwell (10 points) paced the Indians (3-1).
Mansfield 54, Stoughton 33 — Junior center Meg Hill filled the stat sheet with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 blocks for the Hornets (3-0).
Burke 44, Madison Park 37 — Junior center Gisselle Mendes tallied 10 points and 12 rebounds to lift the Bulldogs (2-1).
Duxbury 60, Pembroke 38 — Alli Cavallo scored 24 points to lead the Dragons (3-1).
Lowell Catholic 54, Marian 19 — Freshman Emily Bartlett scored a career-high 19 points and junior Maggie Penta chipped in with 16 for the Crusaders (3-0).
Dighton-Rehoboth 60, Fairhaven 45 — Sophomore Gwen Patton (20 points) and senior Julia Campezato (19 points) paced the Falcons.
Masconomet 61, Lynnfield 27 — Senior Grace Fahey and sophomore Sara Fogarty both scored 12 points to lift the Chieftains (2-0).
Greater New Bedford 58, Case 36 — Sophomore guard Jayda Fortin led the way in the Bears’ season opener with 19 points. Senior guard Naija Amado added 14 points, and senior forward Peyton Wildrick netted 11.
Melrose 50, Arlington 40 — Senior center Catherine Torpey led the way with 19 points and six blocks for the Red Raiders (1-1).
Foxborough 52, Franklin 31 — Junior Ashley Sampson scored 22 points for the Warriors (2-1).
North Attleborough 46, Oliver Ames 45 — With six seconds remaining, the Red Rocketeers (3-0) made three consecutive stops, including two blocks, on baseline inbounds plays to hold on for the win. Senior Ashley Ahearn finished with a team-high 15 points.
Cambridge 56, Bedford 35 — Junior Maggie Pimlott (11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 steals) and senior Demi Akins (19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) lifted the Falcons (2-1).
Billerica 61, Haverhill 31 — Senior Maya Thompson tallied 9 points to lead the Indians (2-1).
Archbishop Williams 68, Austin Prep 33 — Junior Asiah Dingle scored 20 points for the Bishops, who improve to 2-1.
St. Mary’s 50, Briarwood Christian (Ala.) 37 — Senior forward Jonathan Mola netted 22 points while Stephen Fama added another 14 in the KFA Pre Holiday Tournament win in Orlando, Fla.
Lexington Christian 49, Bradford Christian 41 — Senior captains Ethan Tanner (10 points) and Trey Scaro (8 points) led the way for the Lions.
Mystic Valley 64, Greater Lawrence 57 — The Eagles (2-0) saw a balanced attacked from two 13-point contributions from sophomore guards Joshua Briceus and Ben Soto.
Westford 53, Wayland 44 — Senior guard and captain Jon Glidden tallied 20 points, nine rebounds and four steals to led the Grey Ghosts (1-2).
St. Clement 69, Austin Prep 45 — Sophomore point guard Angel Price and junior forward Mike Thompson both scored 21 points for the Anchormen (2-1).
Quincy 60, Scituate 59 — Sophomore Will Zarges (8 points) sank a 3-pointer in the final seconds to secure the win for the Presidents (3-1). Senior Ugo Kamalu added 23 points.
Attleboro 59, Sharon 40 — Senior Jake Dunkley led the way with 15 points and five rebounds for the Bombardiers (4-0).
Newton North 62, Weymouth 45 — Junior Ethan Wright had 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 steals for the Tigers.
Cathedral 73, Arlington Catholic 30 — Junior Khalil Blair recorded 20 points and eight steals, and senior Calvin Cheek had a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists to lead the Panthers (3-1).
Arlington 55, Melrose 43 — Senior Colin McNamara and sophomore James Gascoigne each put up 16 points to lift the Spy Ponders (2-0).
Bourne 79, Wareham 76 — Seniors Chris Davis (20 points), Parker Freedman (19 points), and Jacob Ashworth (19 ponts) led the scoring for the Canalmen (2-1).
Matignon 70, Pope John 68 — Juniors Mohamed Traore scored 26 points and Conner Burne (17 points, 14 rebounds) notched a double-double for the Warriors (4-0).
Marblehead 90, Winthrop 41 — Senior captain Patrick Bugler tallied 20 points, 4 assists, and 5 rebounds to pace the Magicians (2-2). Junior Derek Marino added 14 points.
Holliston 70, Millis 63 — Michael Alibrandy forced overtime with a basket in the game’s final seconds. Senior Andrew Lynch led the Panthers (3-0) with 18 points.
Taunton 71, Milton 56 — Freshman Dante Law scored 18 points to lead the Tigers (2-1).
Franklin 67, Foxborough 55 — Junior Connor Peterson scored 19 points to lead the Panthers (3-0).
Northeast 65, Lynn Tech 58 — Senior center Nick Pettiglio scored 11 points and added 18 rebounds to lead the Golden Knights (2-1). Senior point guard Scott Peary added 19 points.
Lincoln-Sudbury 53, Boston Latin 51 — Overcoming a 20-point first-half deficit, the Warriors won on a putback at the buzzer from junior Travis Surin. Senior Jack O'Connell led the team 25 points.
Needham 63, Framingham 54 — Junior Thomas Shaughnessy had 19 points and five steals for the Rockets (2-0).
Beverly 5, Winthrop 4 — Izzy Primack had a goal and a trio of helpers for the Panthers (6-0).
With the game knotted at 3 more than 10 minutes into the third period, Marlee Hamor found the net at the near post.
After adding an insurance goal with 2:43 to go, Winthrop added a late tally to pull within one but that was as close as the Bulldawgs (2-1) would get.
Beverly wasted no time getting on the board, with Primack potting a goal at 4:45 in the first period after breaking up a clear.
She provided the helper on goal 39 seconds later by McKinley Karpa to put Beverly ahead by two.
With the game looking to be the Panthers’ early on, Winthrop came to life in the second period.
Just under five minutes into the second, junior McKayla Norris put the Bulldawgs within one.
Emma Carleton found the equalizer at 8:53, when she tipped in a pass from defender Meghan Chavis.
Globe correspondent Logan Mullen contributed to this report. For more highlights, go to bostonglobe.com/schools. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email email@example.com.